BACKGROUND: The authors evaluated the utility of immunofluorescence staining with an antipromyelocytic leukemia (anti-PML) antibody for patients with a suspected diagnosis of new or relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) and correlated the findings with the results of other established diagnostic modalities. METHODS: Bone marrow (BM) and/or peripheral blood (PB) smears from 349 patients in whom the diagnosis of APL was considered were assessed with the anti-PML antibody using immunofluorescence. The study group included 199 patients with confirmed APL and 150 with other conditions. The results of conventional cytogenetics, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) performed on these patients were correlated with the PML results. RESULTS: Among patients with confirmed APL, anti-PML antibody was positive in 182 of 184 BM and 32 of 33 PB smears. Conventional cytogenetics demonstrated t(15;17)(q22;q12) in 166 of 182 (91%) patients; 10 had a normal karyotype, 4 had insufficient mitoses to grow in culture, 1 was inconclusive, and 1 was 48, XX, +8, +8. Anti-PML staining was positive in 9 of 10 with a normal karyotype and in all 4 cases with insufficient mitoses. RT-PCR and FISH were positive for PML-retinoic acid receptor-α in 169 of 172 (98%) and 90 of 94 (96%) cases, respectively. Among the patients without APL, 148 of 150 (98.6%) were negative with anti-PML antibody. The sensitivity and specificity of the test were 98.9% and 98.7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: PML immunofluorescence staining is a rapid (<4 hours turnaround time) and reliable frontline diagnostic approach that can facilitate initiation of targeted therapy, particularly in clinical settings where cytogenetic and molecular testing are not readily available.
- Acute promyelocytic leukemia
- Promyelocytic leukemia oncogenic domain
- Rapid diagnosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research